Sharing is Caring, or is it?

This past Tuesday, my son took pictures at his school. He attends a parochial school so his uniform consists of navy blue slacks, a light blue polo shirt with the school logo, and a navy blue cardigan sweater that also has the school logo on it. I made sure that I sent his sweater with him that day and I explained to him that I wanted him to take his photo with his sweater on because it looks neater.

When I arrived home from work that afternoon, my husband told me that we needed to talk because something happened at my son’s school. He explained to me that some students did not bring their cardigan sweaters for picture day so the Principal went around “borrowing” the sweaters of the students who had brought them in in various sizes. My son’s sweater was one of the sweaters that was borrowed and many, many students wore his sweater as they took their individual photos. The worst part of it, my husband further explained, was that my son’s class did not take their pictures until late afternoon. This meant that my son had to wear his sweater after everyone else had worn it in order to take his photograph.

I immediately called the school’s Principal to share my outrage with her and I was shocked at her reaction. She proceeded to tell me that it is a common practice to do this during picture days among parochial schools and that it is a way of teaching the kids to share. My response was that I don’t consider lending articles of clothing an appropriate way to teach the value of sharing nor did I consider it to be a sanitary practice. I went on to say that I have no problem with my son sharing the contents of his bookbag with his classmates, including paper, pencils, erasers, sharpener, etc. I do not, however, think that it is hygienic to have other kids wearing my son’s clothes during a Swine Flu Pandemic, a Bedbug epidemic in NYC, and because of germs in general.

I could not believe that the Principal was actually turning this around and acting like I wasn’t doing my job as a parent by not teaching my son to “share” his clothes with his entire school. How freaking ridiculous is this? She even had the nerve to tell me that she was sorry that I felt that way and that she would not ask my son to share his sweater with other kids in the future. It was an extremely bizarre conversation where logic seemed to be suspended, on her part, and I found myself doubting whether or not I was sane.

Since this incident took place, I have discussed this incident with many friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances. Everyone that I have spoken to seem to agree that it was inappropriate and disgusting for my son to have been expected to let nearly half the school wear his clothing. My sister went as far as to say that I should bring the sweater to the cleaners and submit the bill to the Principal in the “spirit of sharing.” I’m just curious what you guys think…

© 2009, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. I completely agree with your reasoning in this regard. I guess the principal didn't have the courage to admit the obvious mistake made by the school staff.

  2. Thank you for validating my feelings about this whole issue. I wish you could have heard how arrogant she was over the phone. In her mind, she was completely in the right. As a matter of fact, she made it clear that it was her idea to go around rounding up sweaters for the other kids. Hopefully, my outrage will influence her decision making around this issue in the future. It is a sure fire way to spread illness, especially in a school environment.

  3. TCM, what next, that would have been my question, should he also share:
    1.) his jock strap during P.E.
    2.) his comb for some kid with lice
    3.) his diner utensils
    There is no logic here, you are right to be outraged, this principal, is not teaching sharing, nor is it her place, she is teaching bad habits.

  4. Bob, this is exactly how I felt when I heard about this. I have a good mind to print your response and send it in to the Principal in an envelope. It certainly is just as ridiculous as sharing his jock strap, his comb, or his utensils. Her false sense of righteousness was so infuriating.

  5. I am totally with you on being outraged as I would be highly upset if I were in your situation. With the health crises going on in NYC and in general, that was definitely unsanitary.

    BTW, I nominated you for a blog award. You can find it here

  6. Erica, it is so good to hear from you! Thanks for the support. I know you are a parent so I am sure that you understand my pain. Thank you so much for nominating me. I appreciate that so much! I will check it out immediately.

  7. Yes..what you said is right..with all this pandemic on the rise, subjecting them to such cases of unsanitary practices by people who are supposed to protect them..err..its very ironical.

    There is absolutely no logic placing that on 'sharing' fact.

  8. TCM,
    come check out your award.

  9. My mouth fell open as I was reading the situation. I cannot believe how inappropriate it was, and to add insult to injury — having that dumb-ass principal act as if 'you' were being out of order or wacked to object to it……I notice she did not have the sass to send a note at the beginning of the school year to share her philosophy and ask if it would be okay with the parents — because she suspected it was wrong — and she did it anyway. And, she was inconsiderate of your little one's feelings (and his health!) I'm sure his heart sank when he got back a wrinkled, stretched sweater, b/c it sounds like he's a snappy dresser…while I agree with your sister, I think calling and making your point is enough, and to present her with a dry-cleaning bill might make it more ugly…Point made, match mom, game (hopefully) over. Watch this wacko though….I am stopping by from Bob's – we both got awards and I am seeing all nominated. Come say hello!

  10. Thank you all for giving me so much feedback and validating the way that I felt about this whole incident…

    @Sorcerer-That is exactly what I thought, connecting the whole issue of "sharing" to this ridiculous act made no sense at all to me.

    @Bob-You are so kind to me. You have no idea how much the recognition means to me. Thank you so very much. Hugs.

    @IWW-I agree with you. I think sending her the cleaning bill might cause my son some problems at school. I would hate to have to go up there and raise a ruckus because they have a vendetta against my son and have singled him out. For now, I will wait it out and keep a good eye on this crazy woman. Congratulations on your award. I am so excited that I got another award!

  11. I will be coming back for more enlightment and education. Thank you for your blog. I find it to be very informative, educational, and essential. I subscribed to your blog as a friend/follower. Keep up the excellent work. Your blog is living proof that not all on cyber space is meaningless. Your blog should be linked to the schools…

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